Cherokee Bluff made school history Tuesday.
With a thrilling four-set victory, the Lady Bears beat Morgan County in the 3A state volleyball quarterfinals (27-25, 14-25, 26-24, 27-25) in Madison.
With the win, Cherokee Bluff’s volleyball program becomes the first in the school’s four-year history to make it to the state semifinals in any sport.
“This was four years of emotions and hard work for these dang seniors,” Cherokee Bluff coach Laura DeLaPerriere said. “I’m ecstatic for these girls.”
Even those this matchup was more than an hour from Flowery Branch, Cherokee Bluff’s coach said they had a robust student section and fans who streamed onto the court after it was done.
Up next, the Lady Bears will face Greater Atlanta Christian on Saturday in Perry, a neutral site for the Class 3A semifinals.
After a rough go of things in the second set, Cherokee Bluff rebounded against a sound opponent to close it out with two-point wins in the next two sets.
Once it was finished, DeLaPerriere said everyone was engulfed in celebration, before loaading up the bus and heading home.
Leading the way for the Lady Bears, their coach said, were Sage Sutulovich and Emma Staples, on the outside, while Madelyn Levine led the way on the serves.
Levine finished with 24 assists, two digs and an ace, while Staples had 17 kills, three aces and a dig.
Grace-Blythe Cornett finished with 16 assists, seven blocks, seven kills and two digs for the Lady Bears.
Also for Cherokee Bluff, Sutulovich had 12 kills, two digs and an ace, while Sierra Piland added five blocks, three kills and an ace.
Olivia Owens had four kills and two blocks for the Lady Bears, while Brandyn Peterson chipped in four blocks and a kill.